My title: With a Little Help from My Friends

You Too Can Write a Column for a Song

Late Wednesday, actually by then it was Thursday morning, the acoustic jam at Avogadro's had winnowed to a stalwart few. I finally gave it up myself. As I packed the banjo away, Steve left his hammered dulcimer and came over. "You should write a whole column that just uses song titles to tell a story,"

Now all sorts of yahoos try to give me ideas for columns. And I listen since I need all the help I can get. "Titles ARE real expressive," I said. "I especially like the gospel song for lazy Christians: Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goal Posts of Life, but to string song titles together, you'd need to use a bunch of connectors or obscure songs that no one's ever heard of." I don't waste a whole lot of time examining truly stupid ideas.

Big John put down his Old Beatup Guitar. "That's cool. You could have some made-up guy like Songlist Sammy, an off-the-wall dude who only spoke using titles of songs. Like he could say his band had played a gig one weathery day in March. It was tough. Blowing in the Wind, then we were like Who'll Stop the Rain with a bunch of Thunder Road thrown in, but finally everything came together with Here Comes the Sun. Or he could talk about some all-night job the band had, from Bad Moon Rising through Midnight Moonlight to Tequila Sunrise."

I said, "That wouldn't work 'cause the only thing this Songlist Sammy could talk about would be music."

"No. What about if his band broke up? He could say that Henry got into Panama Red and now he's a Wanted Man and Dooley was gonna buy a big batch of Cocaine and I told him, 'Don't Let Your Deal Go Down' but he didn't listen and now he's singing the Folsom Prison Blues."

I shook my head. "Too weird." I turned my back and packed my capo and fingerpicks in the case, hoping the idea would die a natural death. But Katy Daley chimed in. "Maybe if you chose the right subject. Like love or trucks."

"Yeah," said Sally Goodin. "You could have some guy wake up in your house saying My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don't Love Jesus 'cause my wife Proud Mary used to be such a Good Hearted Woman that everyone said Ain't She Sweet and I thought we were in L-O-V-E so I married her but then she began to Act Naturally saying stuff like you're a Truck Driving Man who thinks he's the King of the Road and when you're gone I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. So you just keep on Trucking but I want a D-I-V-O-R-C-E and you can spend a whole lot more than Six Days On The Road and I said hey baby please take me back but she said That'll Be The Day so here I am sleeping on a Pallet On Your Floor but then I'll be Leaving On A Jet Plane to see the Green, Green Grass Of Home."

"It won't work," I said.

But Steve was on a jag. "No. Listen to what people have already come up with."

"Precisely," I answered. "Most people don't know that many song titles." But the idea had a certain charm so I couldn't resist saying, "Look Steve, I don't want you Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad. I know The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time but the ideas certainly don't. Sorry."

Irene spoke up. "I agree with Steve. It's a good idea. You could have a sinner saying, 'I started reading the B-I-B-L-E hoping that God would Give Me That Old-Time Religion so I'd be ready When The Saints Go Marching In.'"

I shook my head, grabbed my case and headed for the door. All I could say was, "Goodnight Irene."